Mac OS X Tiger to sport feature-rich Installer application

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple's Mac OS X "Tiger" Installer application will support several new features to aid developers in delivering a more robust installation experience for users, Apple developer sources say.



The new version--officially deemed "Installer 2.0"--packs several basic enhancements, in addition to some advanced features that will provide application developers with more control over their application's installation process through the creation of installer plug-ins and distribution scripts.



Basic Enhancements



Installer 2.0 will gain support for file version checking, ensuring that installers only replace outdated files on the user's machine, leaving up-to-date files alone. The software will also allow developers to create application upgrades that let the user select the application to be upgraded, whereas previously users could only select installation volumes.



Another feature of Installer 2.0 is a developer preference to provide minimal interface installations. Using this feature, developers can reduce the number of panels shown to the user during an installation or implement completely automated installs. The software will also gain true support for multiple CD/DVD installs, prompting the user for new discs as they are needed.



Advanced Developer Features



For those developers who would like to further customize their application's installation process, Tiger will offer Installer plug-ins. More specifically, Installer plug-ins are bundles that developers may use to display custom panes in the Installer of their applications. These panes may be used to display instructions or gather additional information, such as registration and license information.



Additionally, developers will be able to create custom distribution scripts that offer a flexible and convenient way to install multiple subpackages from a single installation package. The scripts combine a simple collection of XML elements and optional JavaScript code to deliver a very sophisticated set of installation options to the user. Developers who use a distribution script can establish package dependencies, offer highly configurable installation options, and provide code to prevent the user from installing software on an unsupported hardware or software configuration.



In recent weeks AppleInsider has provided extensive coverage of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Previous reports include coverage of Tiger's Spotlight search, Safari with RSS, Mail 2.0 with smart mailboxes, iCal 1.5.3,
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,119member
    Quote:

    Installer 2.0 will gain support for file version checking, ensuring that installers only replace outdated files on the user's machine, leaving up-to-date files alone. The software will also allow developers to create application upgrades that let the user select the application to be upgraded, whereas previously users could only select installation volumes.



    Very cool. I can't tell you how many developers using Core Audio SDK where miffed when new version of Xcode had overwritten their newer CA SDK. This need to work without hitch.



    Quote:

    The software will also gain true support for multiple CD/DVD installs, prompting the user for new discs as they are needed.



    With the Production Suite taking 64 gigs or more to install this is a welcome feature. Looks like future installs will have to take multiple Blu Ray discs....scary.



    Quote:

    In recent weeks AppleInsider has provided extensive coverage of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Previous reports include coverage of Tiger's Spotlight search, Safari with RSS, Mail 2.0 with smart mailboxes, iCal 1.5.3,



    Yes you have an I've enjoyed all of them.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Is this thing still going to only cost 129? Seems like this OS is a developer's dream...but also an end-user's dream.



    10.0 to 10.2 have focused almost entirely on the end-user...but mostly on speed instead of actual features. 10.3 seems to have pleased end-users, but developers didn't get very much to play with. But 10.4!? Holy moley. This one is big.



    Someone on 10.3 should have the incentive of upgrading but 10.3 is really quite good so it would be forgivable if a 10.3 user decided to stay with 10.3...but someone on 10.2 or earlier deciding not to get 10.4 would be crazy.



    Hopefully, once 10.4 is released, Apple will only need to maintain 10.3 and 10.4 actively, 10.2 and below should probably not get any attention at all. This would send users the message to upgrade...yes, a strong-arm tactic, but I since Apple has decided to slow the pace on OS X upgrades, people should make the effort to upgrade to at least 10.3.



    Everyone would benefit. The developers would be able to use 10.3 and 10.4 features without alienating a lot of people and therefore apps would be built in less time (by using the new frameworks to do things they had to code manually before) and become more powerful...and developers would only have to support 10.3 and 10.4. The users would get the speed benefits brought in 10.3 and all the new features 10.3 and 10.4 brought over 10.2 and previous versions.



    Apple would have time to improve the OS instead of spending resources and time maintaining versions below 10.3.

  • Reply 3 of 30
    This is really great. It's about time Apple added these features. Now all they need to add is an uninstaller.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by artooro

    This is really great. It's about time Apple added these features. Now all they need to add is an uninstaller.



    The uninstaller isn't needed for the most part since apps should be bundles that can be dragged and dropped into the trash and everything else installed by the installer (libraries, toolkits, drivers) should probably remain on the HD in case other apps are using it.



    But if a developer so wishes, they can write a plugin to uninstall their app (if it doesn't conform to OS X guidelines and scatters files around instead of putting things in neat little bundles or if an installed framework must be removed.)



    I can see the use of uninstallers on Windows...but very little use on OS X.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    The uninstaller isn't needed for the most part since apps should be bundles that can be dragged and dropped into the trash and everything else installed by the installer (libraries, toolkits, drivers) should probably remain on the HD in case other apps are using it.



    But if a developer so wishes, they can write a plugin to uninstall their app (if it doesn't conform to OS X guidelines and scatters files around instead of putting things in neat little bundles or if an installed framework must be removed.)



    I can see the use of uninstallers on Windows...but very little use on OS X.




    Yeah, your right for the most part. But simply removing an application bundle doesn't remove the preferences and any other files in the Library.



    Also some things like MySQL which can't be in a single bundle would be a lot easier to uninstall using an uninstaller. Currently you have to do it manually or use a shell script.

    Other than that there's also Perl, Apache, and other UNIX stuff.



    But for the common Mac OS X application you wouldn't need an uninstaller.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    There is an uninstaller... it's called Installer.



    If you installed the application using Installer, double-click on the package a second time, after installation, and you'll see an Uninstall item in the File menu. Been there all along.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    There is an uninstaller... it's called Installer.



    If you installed the application using Installer, double-click on the package a second time, after installation, and you'll see an Uninstall item in the File menu. Been there all along.




    Hmm, interesting...I haven't run across any package that does this (yet). Can you provide an example? And why would a menu item suddenly appear? That's not going by the HIG guidelines if you ask me.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    There is an uninstaller... it's called Installer.



    If you installed the application using Installer, double-click on the package a second time, after installation, and you'll see an Uninstall item in the File menu. Been there all along.




    You must be talking about some 3rd party installation software because installer packages built using Apple's PackageMaker cannot uninstall. I tried what you wrote and from the two packages I tried it with there's no such menu item.



    Unless you are talking about the installer in Tiger of course.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Nope, in 10.2 the Installer had an Uninstall menu item. Blast, will have to track this down now. Grr.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Does Tiger have an "iMac's ridiculous rumored price rebate protection" button? They might want to think of putting one of those in.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    pbg4 dudepbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Very cool. I can't tell you how many developers using Core Audio SDK where miffed when new version of Xcode had overwritten their newer CA SDK. This need to work without hitch.







    This is why I haven't installed XCode 1.5 yet. I'm just getting started with CoreAudio/MIDI and finally have the MIDI piece working. I'd hate to have it blown out by updated dev tools.



    I personally can't wait for 10.4. It sounds like a developer's dream release.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    tuttletuttle Posts: 301member
    "I personally can't wait for 10.4. It sounds like a developer's dream release."



    Apple is having major developer support problems right now. Xcode being the major problem, but not the only. Unless something dramatic changes soon I don't see any reason why 10.4 will be any better than what we have today.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    That's good news because there are a few things that are absolutely wrong about installing software in OS X right now.



    1) Lately, I've been bothered by a dialog that says something like, "Can I run a short program to see whether this program can be installed? (yes/no)" When would you ever say "no?" That checking program ought to run automatically and bother the user only if it fails, i.e., there is no user interaction if all is well.



    2) The "Optimizing Volume" step takes several times longer to run than the rest of the installation steps combined. THAT should be the optional step and there should be a tool to do that optimizing independent of a software installation. My understanding is that it is updating the prebindings, so it appears that the installer is wasting 5-10 minutes of my time so that their new app starts a few seconds faster the FIRST time I use it. Does that make sense?



    3) Since an installer is fully aware of all of the files it has updated or installed, why can't it repair those permissions during the installation. Now, it is common practice to run Repair Permissions on the entire system after a new installation. This is also a big waste of time and a cause of trouble for many people who don't practice such strict computer hygiene.



    I hope all of these issues are addressed in the next version.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by artooro

    Yeah, your right for the most part. But simply removing an application bundle doesn't remove the preferences and any other files in the Library.





    Actually, most of the time your DON'T want to uninstall the preferences. That way, re-installing the app doesn't lose all your settings (or upgrading by uninstalling/installing). An option would be nice though...
  • Reply 15 of 30
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tuttle

    "I personally can't wait for 10.4. It sounds like a developer's dream release."



    Apple is having major developer support problems right now. Xcode being the major problem, but not the only. Unless something dramatic changes soon I don't see any reason why 10.4 will be any better than what we have today.








    You're kidding, right?
  • Reply 16 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,119member
    Quote:

    Apple is having major developer support problems right now. Xcode being the major problem, but not the only. Unless something dramatic changes soon I don't see any reason why 10.4 will be any better than what we have today.



    Tuttle I'm sorry. I had no idea you were blind. If you need help, you know descriptions of Tiger I'd be glad to help.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    tuttletuttle Posts: 301member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha





    You're kidding, right?




    No, I'm not kidding at all.



    Apple has major, major developer software/sdk issues. Just go take a peak at the Xcode developer list to see for yourself. They've got serious QA problems going on with updates shipping outdated versions of SDKs/tools clobbering newer versions. Either they are understaffed or there are some fundamental management problems going on with the Apple developer support/tools people.



    Yes, Tiger will have a bunch cool new tech. But it is wishful thinking that the current problems will all magically go away by the time Tiger is released.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Look at the trend, and it's only getting better.



    Documentation: sucked - now, not too shabby in many areas.



    Tools: Xcode 1.1 - ow... 1.5 - much improved



    SDKs: QA *is* getting better



    Yeah, they've had problems. They're fixing them. On *TOP* of the kick-ass new APIs.



    Give 'em a break. They're improving, and rather well.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    charlesscharless Posts: 301member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macFanDave

    That's good news because there are a few things that are absolutely wrong about installing software in OS X right now.



    1) Lately, I've been bothered by a dialog that says something like, "Can I run a short program to see whether this program can be installed? (yes/no)" When would you ever say "no?" That checking program ought to run automatically and bother the user only if it fails, i.e., there is no user interaction if all is well.




    Because an evil package author could easily put malicious code in that checking program.



    Think about it: Thanks to Internet-enabled disk images, you could be browsing a Web page, which could stealthily redirect you to a .dmg file (maybe in a window behind the current one to make it even more sneaky). If it was small, this .dmg file could download in seconds, and then if it was Internet-enabled and you had "automatically open safe files" turned on, it would automatically launch the .pkg installer on it. Under the current system, it would stop at that dialog box, thus alerting you to its presence and giving you a chance to stop it. If it just ran the checker, that would be an exceedingly easy way for a web page to run rm -rf ~ or install a virus/trojan or do anything they wanted, really, as long as it could be done by the currently logged-in user. At least the current system requires some user interaction.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,119member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tuttle

    No, I'm not kidding at all.



    Apple has major, major developer software/sdk issues. Just go take a peak at the Xcode developer list to see for yourself. They've got serious QA problems going on with updates shipping outdated versions of SDKs/tools clobbering newer versions. Either they are understaffed or there are some fundamental management problems going on with the Apple developer support/tools people.



    Yes, Tiger will have a bunch cool new tech. But it is wishful thinking that the current problems will all magically go away by the time Tiger is released.






    LOL ...you bring up some good points. That's why I smiled when I read about Installer 2.0 fixing some nasty issues with overwriting newer files. I have to agree with Kickaha though. Xcode 1.5 seems to be integrating much easier than some of those earlier versions. We have to remember at times that the Xcode mailing list is filled with programmers of varying experience and judging from the Core Audio list I'd bet that the same issue keeps cropping up. Mailing lists need "stickies"
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